Global Affairs + [Choose a Specialization]


The Global Affairs concentration within the Master of Global Affairs provides broad, multidisciplinary training in global affairs and offers deep, specialized training in an area students choose and develop by working closely with a faculty mentor.

Students in Global Affairs receive training in quantitative methods, analytical reasoning, and professional skills and engage intellectually with a broad range of global issues. Coursework in global politics and economics, policy analysis, leadership, and methods — along with extensive hands-on practice — equips students to work collaboratively with practitioners and policymakers, communities, and the private and public sectors to identify solutions to global challenges.

Specialization choices may include: human rights, international law, regional studies, global religion, democratic politics, migration and refugees, or other areas that match your professional goals.

Career opportunities:  Policy analysis, policy advocacy, international development; human rights; foreign affairs; economic development; management of nongovernmental organizations, businesses, humanitarian agencies; diplomacy, journalism, education, research, leadership in a wide range of internationally oriented workplaces.

The Global Affairs + Specialization Concentration is directed by Sara Sievers, Associate Dean for Policy & Practice.

Dual-degree option – Master of Global Affairs/JD

Students interested in Global Affairs and law can earn both MGA and JD degrees at Notre Dame in a total of four years. READ MORE »

In the Classroom and in the Field

Master’s students in Global Affairs [Choose a Specialization] take:

Core Classes – for all Master’s students

Foundational seminars (2)
Global Politics (1)
Economics (1)
Research design for practitioners (1)
Integration Labs (4) including a summer field experience (2-3 months)

Global Affairs classes

International Relations or Global Politics (2)
International Economics (1)
Skills and Methods Courses (3)
Elective Courses (3-5)

Students in Global Affairs have access to classes in other professional schools and departments across the University of Notre Dame. Students work with an academic advisor to choose classes and construct an integrated program of study.

The Integration Lab for Global Affairs

In the Keough School’s Integration Labs, students work with faculty-mentors to synthesize academic knowledge, skill development, and hands-on practice throughout all four semesters of the Master in Global Affairs. Through the Integration Labs, students acquire two years of professional experience as they partner with global organizations on real-world challenges and opportunities.

In the first semester, students become acquainted with the latest varied approaches to addressing complex problems in a global context — including human-centered design, reflective practice and conflict transformation, systems thinking, negotiations, and co-creation of collaborative projects. Near the end of the first semester, students are matched with a partner organization and begin to plan a project addressing a specific problem or opportunity identified by their partner organization.

In the second semester, students gain more in-depth understanding of the substantive topic of their project, acquire deep knowledge about the culture, history, and context of their international placement and setting, and hone the professional skills necessary to accomplish their work.

In the summer, students spend 2-3 months in the field with their partner organization working on a consultancy or research project.

In the third semester, students synthesize and analyze what they’ve learned and begin to develop a professional-quality project, which might take the form of (for example) a policy brief, program evaluation, consultancy report, journal article, or master’s thesis.

In the fourth semester, students refine their final project and present, communicate, and disseminate their work in multiple ways to multiple audiences, including faculty and students, partner organizations, and professional and policy-making audiences.

Partnership opportunities for Master’s students in Global Affairs are under development, and will include major international charitable organizations, United Nations agencies and diplomatic representation, the U.S. State Department Diplomacy Lab, and government advisory projects in selected countries outside of the U.S., among many others.

April 16, 2012; The Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership at Mendoza College of Business. Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame


More about the Master of Global Affairs 

Selected courses in Global Affairs may include:

Principles of Policy Analysis

Leadership and Management

Economics of Public Policy

International Political Economy

Law, Governance and Public Policy

Global Civil Society

Macroeconomics and the Global Economy

International Security in a Multipolar World

World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue

International Relations

Advanced Methods of Analysis

Comparative Studies in International Education

International Law

International Human Rights

Modern Genocide

Contentious Politics

Collective Behavior and Social Movements

Political Sociology

Social Research Methods

Political Communication

International Political Economy

Migration and Human Rights

International Dispute Resolution



Frequently Asked Questions about the Master’s Program


Other concentrations

International Peace Studies

Sustainable Development